‘A perfect example . . .’: Culinary School grad earns accolades for work

October 7, 2022

Pictured: David Cassey and Ashley Cox

To say that David Cassey is thriving in the food service industry is an understatement. This young man relishes time spent in the kitchen, the folks he works with, the challenges that accompany being a team player, plus embracing a larger mission of serving his community.

David completed his culinary training at the Food Bank of Delaware’s Culinary School in Milford in 2016 through a six-week Department of Labor Pre-Employment Training Services Program. The program included chef-instructed kitchen activities, field trips to local restaurants and food processing sites, and basic ServSafe® training. He took the skills he acquired and right after graduation landed as a pasta maker at Lupo Italian Kitchen in Rehoboth Beach.

He worked at Lupo creating a variety of pastas – obviously a menu staple – until last November when he moved to other SoDel Concepts’ operations: Meals on Wheels and FishOn! in Lewes. Meals on Wheels shares a kitchen with FishOn! so he is able to work additional hours, plus this new position is conveniently closer to David’s home.

David describes role in his new responsibilities as “prep worker,” and it’s a job he obviously enjoys. “I help out with the daily meals, and every day there is something different. I like trying new things, learning new things,” he explains.

He’s certainly acquiring new skills here. Clients who receive Meals on Wheels – between 200 and 220 each day — have individualized dietary needs. For example, as he prepares food, David must be aware of food allergies for some people. and those folks who require chopped meals due to dental issues.

In addition to working for Meals on Wheels, David stays on for an afternoon prep shift at Fish On! where he’s also learning more about fish and seafood. “I didn’t know much about seafood before this,” he said. He’s also acquiring skills needed to make bread that accompanies the dinner entrees. “It’s super cool, and I’m learning a bunch of different kinds of prep. There’s always something new to learn in a restaurant.”

On Monday, prior to his interview, for example, David helped clean and portion squid – necessary for the fried calamari. He also cut cherry tomatoes and diced apples that would become part of salads. “Every season, there’s new prep work. On certain days, there’s a different project. Every day is different. It’s great.”

Ashley Cox, David’s manager at Meals on Wheels, praises David’s work ethic, attention to detail, and willingness to help other team members. “David is a huge help. He helps with customized bags, makes substitution for clients. He follows directions well, and he always helps new people.”

David also receives accolades from the Food Bank’s Executive Chef Tim Hunter “David is the perfect example of someone with no experience coming to this class and putting their head down and working, taking in everything you learn here to see how far you can go.  We are all so proud of him.”

Click here for more information about the Food Bank of Delaware’s culinary training programs.

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